Dirk de Ridder, a member of the Oracle Team USA sailing squad which won the most recent America's Cup, has been suspended from the sport for five years, sources tell the Associated Press.
The ruling is believed to be under appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but if it stands it would keep de Ridder out of the 2017 America's Cup, as well as this year's Volvo Ocean Race, which he had already signed a $500,000 contract to sail in.
The suspension stems from the Dutch-born de Ridder's role in the illegal alteration of the Oracle team's boats in the warm up regattas for the America's Cup. The Oracle crew was given a two-point penalty before the start of Cup racing but was still able to walk away victorious. SI WIRE: Michael Phelps will return to competition in April